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Subject: Re: fish spots
From: Bruce Stallsmith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 31 Jan 2001 21:12:00 -0500

text/plain (32 lines)

>Date:    Wed, 31 Jan 2001 11:28:36 -0600
>From:    "Noltie, Douglas B." <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: fish spots
>Folks:  An interesting question was recently asked me by a student:  some
>fish have large 'eye spots' on their tails (e.g., bowfin, some reef fishes,
>red drum, oscars) - how common is the caudal fin eye spot (i.e., what other
>species exhibit this), and in what species does the size/color/presence of
>the eye spot differ among individuals (between the sexes, between the
>sizes/ages, as a function of season, with dominance/subordinance)?  A good
>question, for which I don't have a ready answer.  Your thoughts?  Doug
>Noltie, U. Missouri.

One fairly diverse group featuring caudal fin eye spots is the neotropical
cyprinodont genus Rivulus. Females of virtually all of these species are
plain brown with a prominent caudal spot. Males are distinctively colored,
usually without a caudal spot. I'm not sure of the benefits of this pattern
for females. Many species spend more time out of water than in, flopping
around damp forest floors.

--Bruce Stallsmith
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL  US of A

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